New York [US], October 22 (ANI): The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday said that Taliban officials in several provinces across Afghanistan have forcibly displaced residents partly to distribute land to their own supporters.
In its latest report, the rights group highlighted that many of these evictions have targeted Hazara Shia communities, as well as people associated with the former government, as a form of collective punishment.
According to HRW, the Taliban and associated militias forcibly evicted hundreds of Hazara families from the southern Helmand province and the northern Balkh province in the month of October 2021.
This comes following reports of earlier evictions from Daikundi, Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces.
Since the Taliban seized power in mid-August, the outfit have told many Hazaras and other residents in these five provinces to leave their homes and farms.
"The Taliban are forcibly evicting Hazaras and others on the basis of ethnicity or political opinion to reward Taliban supporters," said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"These evictions, carried out with threats of force and without any legal process, are serious abuses that amount to collective punishment."
Amid the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, internally displaced families are facing harsh living conditions in their displacement camps as they face food shortages.
A total of 5.5 million have been internally displaced in Afghanistan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said last month.
More than 500,592 were displaced in the last eight months, according to a report by the United Nations's OSHA. (ANI)